Volunteers for mock interviews needed; SFS Applications; Negotiating Skills
Volunteers for mock interviews needed; SFS Applications; Negotiating Skills
WiE Newsletter - December 2019 - ISSUE 2
Dr. Rachelle Heller

Front and Center 

News from the Director

November brought the first-ever virtual WiE Board meeting (By the way – to meet the WiE Board, check out https://womenengineers.seas.gwu.edu/advisory-board). Board members' advice for short- and long-term goals coalesced around six topics:  Measures of success, events, partnerships, mentoring, resources and communications. 
So, where to start? What would a successful center look like? We plan to use both quantitative measures (such as the numbers of attendees or numbers of interactions or even funding), as well as qualitative measures, including interviews and anecdotes.
We'd love to hear from you as well. Tell us your thoughts on measuring  success (email us at scwie@gwu.edu with your ideas and comments).
A major focus will be to create a mentoring program. We need to identify a structure, find volunteers, find students and/or alumna desiring to be mentored, and set the process in motion. Did you notice the term volunteer? Yes, we will need your help, so let us know if you are interested in helping us formulate a mentoring program.
Thank you for taking moment out of your busy day to check in on the Center. And, please forward the newsletter to your network and get them to sign up for their very own copy (https://womenengineers.seas.gwu.edu/join-our-mailing-list)!
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year!
Shelly Heller
WiE Center Director

We Need Your Help!

Please consider volunteering for the WiE Mock Job Interviews on Tuesday evening, February 25, 2020. We will host a short webinar for volunteers to help you craft your mock interview. Contact scwie@gwu.edu to volunteer, as soon as possible.
Scholarship for Service logo

Scholarship for Service - Apply Today

GW and the School of Engineering are proud to announce the opening of our applications for the highly competitive Scholarship for Service. The application platform is available from November 1, 2019 until January 31, 2020. The form is available at this link
The scholarship is open only to U.S. citizens. Please contact cspri@gwu.edu for more information on the scholarship program.
Image of discussion - Vesna Zderic, Professor, BioMed; Reham Kaifi, PhD Student; Lauren Price GW Alum

Programming Update

The Center hosted four Career Toolkit workshops this Fall, providing students with advice on how to find a job or internship, how to prepare their resume, how to ask for reference letters and how to craft cover letters for applications. We also included a session on becoming an entrepreneur. The workshops were videotaped so you can view them at your convenience! Links to helpful documents are also included.
The series on issues of unconscious bias focused on staff and on faculty during November. All members of the SEAS community attended a specific interactive session that helped define and ‘unmask’ unconscious bias and then move into a discussion and role play about how these biases can form micro-aggressions where the overt intended message is not the same as the impact of the message.
One of the topics from the Career Toolkit workshops blended very nicely with a topic from our series for students, faculty and staff on issues of unconscious bias and micro-aggressions:  reference letters. Numerous research reveals that letters written about men and woman are different, and women are at a disadvantage even when their resumes and abilities are essentially the same as men. This holds across disciplines.
The key findings include the fact that letters of reference for women are shorter than those for men seeking the same position, with essentially the same qualifications. Letters for women often reported their reliability and meticulous work, while letters for men noted their brilliance, star and exceptional qualities. Are the women merely hardworking but not talented?
When letters for men and women were of the same length and even balanced in terms of using “brilliance” and “reliability," letters for men noted many more “brilliance” qualities. And, women’s letters, more than those for men, noted nurturing and mentoring activities. (Learn more by checking out An Inclusive Academy by Stewart and Valian 2018 MIT Press).
Women Negotiating: Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels

Brush up on Your Negotiating Skills: Negotiation Workshop January 29, 2020

Throughout your career, either when interviewing for a job or working on a team, you need to have negotiation skills. This one-hour workshop in our Career Toolkit series focuses on interest-based negotiation concepts. Using some relevant fact patterns you will be able to plan your negotiation and practice it with a partner. You will leave with salary negotiation tips and a negotiation planning guide.
Reserve your place by contacting scwie@gwu.edu

WiE Workshops and Events

All are welcome!

Women in Engineering Career Toolkit Series: The SEAS Center for Women in Engineering is presenting sessions to help SEAS students and recent alumnae gain the skills they need to launch their career. The one-hour sessions are open to all SEAS students, but are geared particularly to women students. Visit the Center for Women in Engineering site for more details.
  • January 29, 2020: Negotiation: Getting What You Want and When to Say No (see description above)
  • February 19, 2020: Panel on Why Engineering Needs Many Voices
  • February 25, 2020: Mock Interviews
  • February 28, 2020: SEAS Job Fair
Hot off the Press

Hot off the Press

Understanding Unconscious bias and Microaggressions Workshops

When we encounter unconscious bias and microaggressions (which often find their origin in these biases) in our SEAS environment, they can impact students, faculty, staff and alumni in different ways. But each encounter has a limiting effect on our progress as engineers. For students, it might be the impact of team work in a classroom project or club; for faculty, it might be relevant to a search committee; for staff, it can mean the difference between a great and not great place to workand for an alumna, it might affect one’s success in the workplace.
While studies show that such bias is not changed overnight, bringing issues of bias to light over the course of a year should permit the SEAS community to recognize our biases and, most importantly, change our actions to mitigate the impact of the bias.
For the 2019-2020 year, the Center launched a series of programs for student leaders, incoming students, faculty and staff. We hope to expand to session for alumni during the February 2020 Engineer Week (e-week).
How will this be different from existing GW programming? GW has a prepared presentation on diversity training and unconscious bias. Additionally, the website for the GW Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (https://diversity.gwu.edu) has many links faculty and students can explore. 
The Center programming is based on active learning. We have chosen two activities developed under NSF grants, the Buffalo card game and Microaggression activities, as a basis for learning and discussion about unconscious bias. These two activities will enable participants to experience their own unconscious biases, to reflect on how to continue to be aware of them and to develop a personal toolkit to help them deal with real situations where unconscious biases or microaggressions appear.
During e-week, on February 19, 2020, the Center plans to coordinate a panel titled “Why Engineering Needs Many Voices” during the newly expanded e-week. We will have a few opportunities for SEAS community, including alumni, to engage in activities such as Buffalo or Microaggression (if they have not yet done so). The staff of the GW Office of Diversity and Inclusion has offered to present a few workshops during the day as well.  We will end the day with a major speaker on the topic – speaker to be identified.

Subscribe to Receive Information

The George Washington University
Subscribe to our email list.